Hi Everyone! I’m Annabeth Collis, and I’m a rising senior at Pitt. I’m majoring in English Literature, minoring in Creative Writing, and receiving a certificate in Children’s Literature. I’m originally from Buffalo, New York. Buffalo is in Western New York – pretty much as far as you can get from New York City while still being in the state of New York. I live in a suburb that’s about 20 minutes from the city of Buffalo, and my home is also about 25 minutes from Niagara Falls. Going to the Falls is one of my favorite things to do whenever I’m home.
At Pitt, I am the President of the Fantasy Studies Fellowship (FSF). The FSF is a social and intellectual organization dedicated to the study and appreciation of fantasy media and literature. We discuss books, films, and TV shows, and we also invite authors to come speak to our club. I’m also one of the Directors for the Pitt Program Council. This past year, I served as the Arts and Film Director, and for the 2022-2023 year, I will be serving as the Lecture Director. The photo that I’ve attached to this post is me in my Pitt Program Council uniform from one of our lecture events this past April.
For my internship abroad experience, I choose the IIP Dublin program. I selected this program because I am interested in experiencing the cultural, historical, and professional landscape of Dublin, Ireland. As an English Literature major who is looking to expand their professional experiences while also being exposed to a different culture, I believe that the International Internship Program in Dublin will allow me to learn more about what I want out of future jobs and my future career while also allowing me to learn more about the ways that the arts and humanities intersect with all other aspects of life in Dublin. Whenever I speak with friends and family members who have been to Dublin, I hear great things about the people of Ireland and how there are many rewarding experiences and places to visit in the country. Based on my research and understanding of this program, I selected Dublin because of the extensive personal and professional opportunities for growth.
I’ve taken many literature and writing classes at Pitt, and while these courses have been immensely rewarding, I am also seeking opportunities to apply my passion for literature and the arts in real-world and professional contexts. For this program, I will be interning with New Island Books, which is an independent publishing house in Dublin. While Pitt has already provided me with many opportunities to expand my knowledge of literature and the humanities, this internship program will allow me to learn more about being a working professional and learn more about how my skills as an English major can translate into employment opportunities that will both fulfill me professionally and help out the future communities of which I am a part. Similarly, due to the rigorous nature of my coursework, it is difficult to seek out internship opportunities during my regular fall and spring semesters at Pitt. This internship program will give me the opportunity to gain practical, real-world job experience outside of the constraints of my normal course load. Coursework is important, but real-world career advancement is also necessary for discovering what I would like to do for a living after graduating from Pitt. My hopes for participating in this program are that I will be able to gain internship experience that will complement the academic skills and experiences that I’ve already developed at Pitt.
I personally believe that one of the professional hurdles of majoring in the arts/humanities is not finding employment but finding employment that is personally fulfilling. The skills that I’ve developed during my time as an English Literature major at Pitt are skills that are necessary and important for almost any job or post-graduate program. However, I am still figuring out how I would like to apply these skills and what career would be best suited for me. Interning at New Island Books will allow me to gain even more job experience that will inform the next steps I take in my post-graduation career. In this internship, I hope to get hands-on experience that will allow me to hone-in on what career path I want to commit to after graduating. In addition to literally helping me determine what I want to do after graduation, this program will also enrich my social and cultural development, which will in turn assist me in the interview process for any job that I apply for in the future. Because Europe is in many ways a center of literature, art, and history, having a network of contacts in Ireland will also open up the possibility of me returning to Europe one day for more potential employment opportunities.
Everyone I’ve ever talked to that has studied abroad has said that studying and living in a foreign country is one of the most rewarding experiences that they have had, and I believe that I will develop socially and professionally on this program. Through living with other university students who are also participating in internships, I hope to make connections with my contemporaries who will be entering the workforce at the same time that I am. By working with other colleagues at New Island, I will learn more about working and collaborating with others in a professional setting, and I will expand my business network globally. On a personal level, I believe that traveling to different countries and seeing the way that people live in a culture that is different from your own is an important and enlightening experience. When you live, work, and study in one country for most of your life, you (almost by default) accept that your way of life is the standard way of life. Traveling abroad will allow me to gain a new understanding about not just Ireland but my home country as well. These new cultural understandings will help me develop into an even more informed and considerate citizen and global traveler.
I’m excited to hear about everyone’s experiences as they arrive in country and start their internships!